Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rio Viento

We made a mad dash late yesterday afternoon from the office to the Delta, with hopes of arriving at Rio Viento, a close-to-home campground we've been meaning to check out, before dark. With the sun long since set, the last couple of miles of the trip were down this narrow, winding levee road. Crawling along in the dark, with Rocky in tow, we missed the barely marked entry to the park and subjected ourselves to a 45-minute delay as we found a place along the road to unhook the jeep and eventually a wide enough spot in the road to turn Bullwinkle around. (Did we mention it was dark?)

That's a daylight picture of the entry above. Can you see it? We think you'll agree it's easy to miss, especially in the dark!

Despite the fact that we were checking in 90 minutes later than they expected us, the owners of the park gave us a warm welcome. There was plenty of room to park and we were setup within minutes. Had this little misadventure happened when we were Bullwinkle newbies, it might have sent us spinning. But after six months of life with our moose, we took it all in stride.

By the light of day, we were able to get a better look at the place. The interior roads and 70 sites of the park are made up of pavers - all hand set by the park owners, their family and a few dedicated friends. The result of their gigantic effort is a lovely park with the most level sites we've seen. We had a nice chat with one of the owners this morning who shared their story of how the park came to be. As we know, the Delta is known for its stiff breezes, especially in Summer and Fall. In those seasons, Rio Viento is a destination spot for windsurfers and windsurfing wannabes. There's even a resident windsurfing instructor!

Lucky for us, the Delta breezes are absent this weekend, and this lovely park is a relaxing, quiet place for us to be.

We jeeped into Rio Vista and did a bit of geocaching. Here's P picking up one near the Rio Vista bridge. We picked up four caches in no time, and are drawing very close to the milestone of having found 500 caches. We need to pick up the pace!

After a tasty lunch at Shelby's, a local spot in Rio Vista, we picked up a few groceries and spent a lazy afternoon on the Delta shore. Late this afternoon, we sat on this bench and watched passing boats and a glorious sunset. (I forgot to bring the camera on our sunset stroll!)

Despite the rough start to the weekend, we've really enjoyed our stay. We may have found the "home campground" we've been looking for. We'll want to stay clear during the windy season. But, when things are calm, this place can't be beat.

And, now that we know where it is, we won't miss the turn.

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